Archive for the Category: Language

Cold Wintry Wind

I learnt an interesting Japanese word and kanji today – 凩 (こがらし / kogarashi), which means ‘cold wintry wind’ or ‘the cold wind that reminds us winter is coming’. It is also written 木枯し or 木枯, and is considered ‘untranslatable‘ by some. The character 凩 is a 国字 (こくじ / kokuji), that is one that […]

Also posted in English, Japanese, Welsh, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Wheels with teeth

I discovered last night that in French a cog is a une dent, which also means a tooth, or une dent d’engrenage (“tooth gear”), and a cog wheel is une roue dentée (a toothed wheel), which is kind of a cog looks like. The English word cog, meaning a tooth on a gear, or a […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, German, Old Norse, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Polyglot Pub

Last week I went to the Polyglot Pub in London. I’ve been to similar events in Manchester and Liverpool, but this is the first one I’ve been to in London. It takes place once a month, usually at Penderel’s Oak, a pub in Holborn, and this month there were about 16 people there. The conversation […]

Also posted in Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Slovak, Swedish 1 Comment

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Also posted in Quiz questions 4 Comments

Tell me all about it

According to an article on Science Daily, a good way to remember something you’re learnt is to tell someone else about it, or to test yourself on it. A study got students to watch films, then asked them to describe what they’d seen afterwards. Those who told someone about the films just after watching them […]

Also posted in General, Language learning, Memory 1 Comment

A Wayzgoose Chase

What do you call a printer that doesn’t work? A wayzgoose [ˈweɪzɡuːs]. A wayzgoose‽ What’s that? According to the Oxford Living Dictionaries, a wayzgoose is “An annual summer dinner or outing held by a printing house for its employees.” The Oxford Dictionaries blog says that: the wayzgoose was originally an entertainment given by a master-printer […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Also posted in Quiz questions 8 Comments

Going spooning

There’s a tradition in Wales of men carving spoons out of wood and presenting them to the ladies they love. If a lady accepts a spoon, then she and the man are considered a couple – engagements and weddings were apparently not common in rural Wales until the 18th century [source]. The websites that discuss […]

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Giggling wrigglers

I learnt a nice new German word today – kichern [ˈkɪçɐn], which means to giggle or snicker. Related expressions include: – ein Kicheranfall = a fit of the giggles – Wir haben uns darüber gekringelt = We had a good giggle about it – anfangen herumzukichern = to get the giggles This also got me […]

Also posted in English, German, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Also posted in Quiz questions 8 Comments
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